Everyone loves a day of fun in the sun with the family. Enjoying the calm ocean breeze on your face – while the kids run around playing in the sand and surf – is one of the most pleasurable ways to spend the day.
The only problem: the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Harsh UV rays can easily cause serious sunburns, wind can blow your towel halfway across the beach, and sudden downpours can send everyone running for cover.
A good beach tent goes a long way to solving these problems. They’ll shield you and your family from the elements, ensuring your beach outing is fun for everyone. Picking the best beach tent for families can be a bit of a confusing task, so I’ll break down some of the best beach tents on the market, plus how to pick the right one for you and your family.
Quick Answer: 7 Best Beach Tents for Families
- Best Overall: Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent Deluxe XL
- Runner Up: WhiteFang Pop Up Beach Tent
- Budget Pick: EasyGo Shelter
- Umbrella Tent: Sport-Brella Vented Sun and Rain Canopy
- Best Pop Up Beach Tent: Shade Shack Beach Tent
- Best Tent for Beach Camping: Hewolf Quick Setup Dome Pop up Family Tent
- Fun for Kids: Multifun Large 3-4 Person Shark Sun Shelter
Why do you need a beach tent for your family
Beyond shielding you from the sun’s rays, beach tents are a great place to change into your beach attire, store coolers, and other food, have a picnic and even take a well-deserved nap.
If you’ve ever had to shimmy into your swimsuit or trunks underneath a towel – while carefully avoiding exposing yourself to the entire beach – you’ll know how important a shelter for changing clothes can be!
Beach tents also offer a shady spot for storing coolers, cold drinks, and sensitive electronics. You can easily stash several beach chairs or loungers inside them, creating a comfortable shelter from the sun. If you’ve ever fallen asleep in the sun – and then woke up looking like a tomato – you’ll be thankful for the UV protection beach tents offer!
Best Overall: Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent Deluxe XL
This tent truly lives up to its ‘easy setup’ name. It’s incredibly easy to set up and takedown, taking less than a minute. Simply take the tent out of its carrying bag, pull on the drawstring, and the entire tent pops up on its hinges – no poles necessary!
After that, simply drive a few stakes into the sand, and you’ve got yourself a beach tent capable of withstanding sun, wind, and rain. There are also built-in external sand pockets – allowing you to weigh the tent down by filling them with sand.
The spacious XL version is the perfect size for families, providing enough room to comfortably seat 3 to 4 people. Two adults and 2 to 3 children can fit inside the tent without bumping elbows.
The water-resistant PE floor protects your gear from getting wet, even after a sudden downpour.
The tent comes bundled with plenty of useful features, including 3 extra-large ventilation windows, a compact carrying case, and internal pockets/hooks for storing items off the ground.
- Measurements: 95” x 52” x 51”
- Weight: 6 lbs
- Hub deployment system allows for quick and easy setup and takedown
- Also available with a front-facing extendable floor
Runner Up: WhiteFang Pop Up Beach Tent
This quick opening beach tent opens effortlessly – making it a breeze for anyone to setup. The tent quickly snaps into place, without the need to mess around with poles or drawstrings. To erect the tent, simply remove from the bag, unfold, and then lift the poles as the tent rises automatically.
Both the included stakes and the built-in sand pockets can be used to secure the tent to the ground. Two stake types come included: sand stakes for the beach, and steel stakes for harder surfaces. There are also 4 ropes included to give you extra stability in windy conditions.
An extended floor comes included, allowing you to spread your gear in front of the tent without getting sand in everything. It can also be used as a closure – providing privacy for changing clothes or napping. Three large mesh windows with closures provide extra airflow and keep annoying insects out.
The roomy beach tent interior provides enough space for 2 adults plus 2 kids, making it perfect for smaller families.
- Measurements: 99” x 55” x 55”
- Weight: 6 lbs
- The quick opening system snaps open in seconds
- Extended floor proves more space, and can be used as a closure for privacy
- Three mounting options: steel stakes, sand stakes, and sand pockets
Budget Pick: EasyGo Shelter
If you’re looking for a beach tent for families – and don’t want to break the bank – then this is the tent for you. It features an easy setup drawstring, allowing you to fully set it up or teardown in minutes. The tent can be secured with either the included stakes or the built-in sand pockets (or both).
All the closures feature hooks instead of zippers, so they’ll never rust shut from saltwater exposure like cheaper tents sometimes do. Three large windows allow you to adjust the amount of airflow and privacy, while the floor extends out in front of the tent, giving you extra room to spread out your legs. This front enclosure also doubles as a front door, allowing you to fully seal the tent for more privacy.
The tent is a similar size to the tents reviewed above, providing plenty of room for 2 adults plus 2 kids, or two adults with beach recliners.
The only drawback is the tent bottom material. It’s not the most comfortable material out there, so if you plan to sit directly on the floor make sure to bring a comfy beach towel.
View on: [su_button url=”https://www.amazon.com/EasyGo-Shelter-Instant-Beach-Umbrella/dp/B075XYY55V/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=coastalside-20&linkId=4bfeb92fd8b82daf02cbc9b6ebf62ed4&language=en_US” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#d93f2c” size=”8″ radius=”5″ text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #000000″]Amazon[/su_button]
- Measurements: 96” x 48” x 48”
- Weight: 6 lbs
- Instant pop-up design is quick and easy to deploy
- Extended front floor doubles as closure for privacy
Umbrella Tent: Sport-Brella Vented Sun and Rain Canopy
What’s this – an umbrella, beach tent, and canopy all in one? Why yes indeed! The unique and innovative design of this beach tent is sure to catch eyes at the beach, park, or campground. Setup takes just three seconds – popping open just like a regular old umbrella.
It offers full UPF 50+ sun protection and will keep you protected from sun, rain, and wind. Built-in wind-gust vents secure the umbrella from taking off during a sudden gust of wind.
To secure the Sport-Brella to the sand, 8 steel stakes and 3 tie-down cords come included. If conditions are extra windy, you can also fill the side pouches with sand for added stability.
Two large zippered side windows provide a nice cross breeze, as well as added visibility.
The open canopy design provides plenty of room for beach chairs, coolers, beach mats and much more. You can easily fit 4 beach chairs underneath it, making it an ideal beach tent for families.
- Measurements: 8 feet wide when opened
- Weight: 9 lbs
- Innovative design provides a versatile beach tent/canopy
- Works well in wind, sun, and rainy conditions
Best Pop Up Beach Tent: Shade Shack Beach Tent
This pop-up beach tent truly lives up to its name. It’s super easy to deploy – taking seconds to setup and teardown. If you’re looking for the easiest and fastest setup, then this is the tent for you.
It features a zinc-coated polyester material, providing excellent UPF 30+ sun protection. It’s also super lightweight, weighing only 4 pounds. Securing the tent is easy, with built-in side pockets for sand, as well as tent stakes for use on grass and harder surfaces.
The versatile tent can be used as a typical three-walled beach tent, or the rear wall can be folded up to create a two-walled beach canopy. When used as a canopy, air can freely pass through, allowing you to cool down in the heat.
Unlike many other models, the tent doesn’t come with a floor. This means it’s easy to keep clean, as sand won’t work its way into every crevasse of the tent. If you’re using it on hot sand, make sure to bring a good beach towel or mat as a makeshift floor.
View on: [su_button url=”https://www.amazon.com/Shade-Shack-Automatic-Instant-Shelter/dp/B002KRZQMS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=coastalside-20&linkId=43ddddb0e4585c441cb2a2ea557cdea4&language=en_US” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#d93f2c” size=”8″ radius=”5″ text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #000000″]Amazon[/su_button]
- Measurements: Large – 90” x 53” x 51”. X-Large – 102” x 58” x 57”
- Weight: 4 lbs
- Super easy and quick to deploy
- Can be used as a three-walled tent or two-walled canopy
- Versatile beach tent is ideal for families
Best Tent for Beach Camping: Hewolf Quick Setup Dome Pop up Family Tent
If you’re looking to do a little beach camping, this pop-up hexagon tent makes a fantastic option. Unlike most camping tents, setup and teardown takes mere minutes. It features a quick-setup frame, so there’s no need mess around with threading poles.
The versatile design utilizes a double wall, with an inner polyester mesh layer, as well as a durable UV protective waterproof outer layer and rainfly. The inner layer can be removed easily, turning the tent into an open-style beach canopy.
Securing the tent to the ground can be accomplished with the 14 included stakes and 8 guylines.
There are two large well-ventilated doors and with vestibules, enabling easy access to the tent’s interior. While the tent has a fairly slim profile, its roomy interior can easily sleep 2 adults plus 1 to 2 kids.
The easy setup design also makes it perfect for kids to set up by themselves.
- Measurements: 97” x 84” x 54”
- Weight: 10 lbs
- Versatile double-walled design works great for beach camping, traveling, and festivals
- PU2000 waterproof rating prevents moisture from getting in during downpours
Fun for Kids: Multifun Large 3-4 Person Shark Sun Shelter
This shark themed beach tent is perfect for getting kids excited about heading to the beach. Its pop up design makes it super quick to deploy and take down – removing the headaches involved with setting up a traditional tent.
UPF 50+ sun protection ensures you’re well protected for the sun, while the water and wind-resistant coated polyester exterior keep you shielded from the elements. 4 ground stakes and sandbags come included, allowing you to secure the tent to a variety of surfaces.
Two large mesh windows provide excellent breathability, keeping the interior nice and cool in hot weather. The construction quality is top-notch, so it’ll hold up to the wear and tear kids sometimes inflict on their belongings.
The internal space is surprisingly roomy, comfortably fitting two adults, or 3 – 4 kids.
View on: [su_button url=”https://www.amazon.com/Multifun-Windproof-Waterproof-Portable-Sunshade/dp/B07Q29MFFV/ref=as_li_ss_tl?th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=coastalside-20&linkId=25198f98192b2e0d4beb13016e279c1c&language=en_US” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#d93f2c” size=”8″ radius=”5″ text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #000000″]Amazon[/su_button]
- Measurements: 81” x 49” x 40”
- Weight: 5 lbs
- Cute shark beach tent design is fun for kids and families
- Instant pop up design
- UV protection, waterproof, and windproof
How to choose the best beach tent for your family
Picking the right beach tent can seem like a confusing task, and with so many different options out there, you’ll want to be sure the tent you choose is suited to your needs.
A good beach tent will provide shade, privacy, and a shelter from the elements. They should be easy to setup and teardown and be sturdy enough to withstand sudden wind gusts or downpours.
Let’s take a look at some of the key features to keep in mind when picking the right beach tent for families.
Ease of Setup/Takedown
Possibly the most important feature to consider is how easy the tent is to setup and teardown. If you’re going to be using the tent on a regular basis, having one that takes 2 minutes to setup will be a huge advantage over one that takes 15 minutes to setup.
All the above tents utilize some form of pop-up or easy-up deployment system. This means you won’t need to mess around with annoying poles and trying to thread them through narrow openings.
These tents are also quick and easy to take down and fold into their carrying cases. So, when it’s time to go you won’t have to deal with complicated folding methods or easy-to-misplace parts.
Size is an important consideration when choosing a beach tent. Most tents will comfortably hold 2 to 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 to 3 kids.
Ask yourself how many people you’ll need to fit inside your tent. How many adults? How many kids?
Generally, going with a larger tent will offer you more versatility than a smaller one will. Larger tents aren’t much heavier or bulkier than smaller versions, but you can fit a good amount more gear and people inside them.
A sudden wind gust can quickly turn your beach tent into a giant kite! Securing your tent to the ground will ensure it stays put no what the weather gods have in mind.
Most beach tents come with two methods of securing them – stakes and sandbags.
Stakes are typically made from steel and work well when securing the tent to harder surfaces. Think the park, campground, tailgating, etc. These stakes typically don’t work well in soft sand, as it tends to give rather than providing a solid base. Harder, more compact sand can work well with steel stakes.
There are also specially designed sand stakes for use in softer sand. These are much larger than regular stakes – with the added surface area needed to dig in and grip the softer sand.
Sandbag pockets are typically built into the bottom portions of the tent’s walls. These are great for use in soft sand – all you need to do is shovel several large scoops of sand in – and you’ve got yourself a makeshift sandbag.
If conditions are particularly gusty or stormy, you can use both sandbags and stakes in tandem. Many tents also come bundled with outrigger ropes for adding extra stakes.
Proper ventilation is an important consideration, especially if you’ve got small children around. A tent without good ventilation can quickly turn into a hotbox, acting to heat up its inhabitants rather than cool them down.
Most of the tents above have two or three zippered side windows. These are great for when you want a nice cross breeze going, and can be shut when you want a bit more privacy.
Beach tents will generally have an open front design, allowing airflow and an unobstructed view of the water. Some feature an optional removable back wall – allowing even more airflow – and turning the tent into more of a beach canopy.
Depending on where you plan to use your beach tent, transportation can be an important consideration. If you’re taking it on vacation, you’ll want to be sure it can fit inside your luggage or carry-on bags.
Most of the tents reviewed above are fairly lightweight, weighing between 5 and 10 lbs. when folded inside their cases.
Keep in mind when you’re already carrying an umbrella, cooler, and beach chairs, any extra weight can be a major pain. A good beach cart or wagon can save you the headache and make transporting all your gear to the beach a breeze.
Closed vs Open Bottom
This one comes down to personal preference. Some tents come with a closed bottom and some have open bottoms allowing you to sit directly on the sand.
Closed bottomed tents are great for keeping moisture out, protecting you from bugs like gnats and sand fleas, and providing a barrier from particularly hot sand. The downside is sand will inevitably work its way inside, which can be annoying to remove.
Open bottomed tents function more like beach canopies, providing shade, but still exposing you directly to the sand. They’re super low maintenance, as sand won’t get tracked inside them from outside. If you decide an open-bottomed tent, make sure to bring some good beach towel or mats with you to protect you from the elements.
There are several beach tent add-ons to be on the lookout for. Most aren’t strictly necessary but can be handy depending on how you plan to use your tent.
Many tents will come with some form of internal pockets for stashing important gear like cameras, cellphones, GoPro mounts, portable speakers, and the like. The pockets are suspended above the ground, so if a sudden downpour occurs, your gear won’t get soaked.
Extended Front Enclosure
This is a particularly handy feature to have on any beach tent. The front material extends out in front of the tent, giving you ample space to spread out your towels and gear without getting them covered in sand. Many of these enclosures also double as a front door – allowing you to close them for privacy when you want to change clothes or take a nap.
Waterproofing is important – you don’t want to get soaked in a sudden downpour! All the beach tents above are waterproof, but some will have higher waterproof ratings than others. If you’re planning on using your tent in particularly wet environments, make sure to go with a higher waterproof rating.
A hanging/drying rack always comes in handy at the beach. You can dry swimsuits, towels, and even kid’s snorkel gear. You can also hang portable Bluetooth speakers and other electronic gear – keeping them away from the sand and water. \
Families looking for a good beach tent will always find something useful to do with a drying rack.